Postal service reminds patrons to help carriers avoid dog bites/Summer is a time of relocations; make sure your mail keeps up with you
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
With summer holidays approaching, the local U.S. Postal Service has a few reminders for the community, including how to help protect mail carriers and others from dog bites.
The Humane Society of the United States reports that small children, the elderly and letter carriers -- in that order -- are the most frequent victims of dog attacks.
Dog attacks are the most commonly reported childhood public health problem and dog bite victims account for up to 5 percent of emergency room visits. In the last year, dogs needlessly victimized more than 3,000 city and rural carriers and more than 2 million children nationwide.
"Unfortunately, many owners of canines involved in attacks believed their pet would never bite," said Postmaster Timmithy J. Horner. "The Marshall Post Office and its letter carriers are asking the community to cultivate a safe environment for children and to promote responsible pet ownership to prevent those painful, sometimes fatal, injuries."
Some helpful reminders:
--Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dog in any situation.
--When the letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room or on a leash. Don't assume a fence will restrain your pet.
--Don't let your child take mail from the letter carrier in the presence of your dog. Your dog's instinct is to protect the family.
--Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to bite. HSUS statistics show that dogs that have not been spayed or neutered are up to three times more likely to bite than neutered or spayed dogs.
--Dogs that haven't been properly socialized, that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time frequently turn into biters.
How to avoid being bitten:
--Don't run past a dog. The dog's natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.
--If a dog threatens you, don't scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
--Don't approach a strange dog, especially one that's tethered or confined.
--While letter carriers are discouraged from petting animals, people who choose to pet dogs should always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
Bless the Bullys